Metal nanoparticles reveal the organization of single-walled carbon nanotubes in bundles†
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) were decorated with metal nanoparticles. Using a complementary analysis with spatially resolved micro-Raman spectroscopy, high resolution transmission electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, we show that the SWCNTs form bundles in which smaller diameter SWCNTs are the ones preferentially affected by the presence of Au and Ag nanoparticles. This result is exploited to evaluate the structural organization of SWCNTs with mixed chiralities in bundles, leading us to postulate that smaller diameter SWCNTs surround larger ones. We found that this effect occurs for very distinct scenarios including SWCNTs both in nanometer thin films and in field effect transistor configurations at the wafer-level, suggesting a universal phenomenon for SWCNTs deposited from dispersions.